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VOLUME XXXIII



E. R. DuMONT

PARIS : LONDON : NEW YORK : CHICAGO



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VOLTAIRE



HISTORY OF THE WAR OF 1741



CONTENTS



I. STATE OF EUROPE PRIOR TO THE WAR 5

II. DEATH OF CHARLES VI. ... 37

III. THE ELECTOR OF BAVARIA MADE

EMPEROR ..... 47

IV. THE NEW EMPEROR'S MISFORTUNES . 63
V. EUROPE DURING THE WAR ... 94

VI. THE BATTLE OF DETTINGEN . .124

VII. TROUBLES OF CHARLES VII. . . 142

VIII. THE PRINCE OF CONTI FORCES THE

PASSAGE OF THE ALPS . . 161

IX. Louis XV. VICTORIOUS IN FLANDERS . 167

X. THE PRINCE OF CONTI WINS IN ITALY 184

XI. THE SIEGE OF FREIBURG . . . 194

XII. THE KING OF POLAND JOINS MARIA

THERESA . . . . .198

XIII. DEATH OF CHARLES VII. . . . 204

XIV. SIEGE OF TOURNAY; BATTLE OF FON-

TENOY . . . . .219

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES TO " ANNALS OF
THE EMPIRE," 1632-1687



LIST OF PLATES
VOL. XXXIII

PAGE

MADAME DuBARRY . . Frontispiece

MARIA THERESA 70

Louis XV 218

JOHN SOBIESKI 308



HISTORY OF THE WAR OF 1741.



CHAPTER I.

THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN EUROPE, AND A BRIEF
REVIEW OF MATTERS PRIOR TO THE WAR OF 1 741.

I HAVE always looked upon the Christian powers
of Europe as one great republic, all whose parts
correspond with one another, even when they aim at
their mutual destruction. Certain customs, which
we call the laws of war, laws unknown to other
nations, have been established by general consent.
The precedence of almost all princes has been set-
tled; the Catholics have two cities in common;
one of these is Malta, the centre of a perpetual war
waged against the enemies of the Christian name;
the other is Rome, which in more respects than one
is the capital of all the Catholic nations, each of
which has a right to name one of the sovereign's
principal ministers; and their ecclesiastical, and
even temporal causes are tried by the tribunal of
the Rota, the judges composing which are taken
from each nation. The sovereigns, in all the Catholic
frontiers, have some territories that are under the
jurisdiction of a foreign bishop. Nothing is more
common than to see the prerogatives, honors, and

5



6 The War of 1 741.

orders of knighthood of one country conferred upon
the natives of another. Most princes have territo-
ries lying in the middle of other states; as for
example, the pope is possessed of Avignon in France,
and of Benevento in the kingdom of Naples; the
Venetians have dominions in the heart of the
Milanese. There is scarcely a prince in Germany
but has some dominions enclosed by the territory of
another sovereign.

The old Roman law is in full force in all these
countries: they have all one and the same learned
language; and every court speaks the same living
tongue the French, which is used in every court of
Europe but our own. These connections have been
further strengthened by commerce. The merchants
carry on so close a correspondence, even in time of
war, that at the very time in which the English were
arming to ruin the Spaniards, they were deeply
interested in the trade of that nation ; so that when
their privateers seized upon an enemy's ship, they
were absolutely plundering their own countrymen.
In effect, the wars waged against each other by
Christian princes have in them so much of the nature
of civil wars, that in the year 1701, Victor, duke of
Savoy, was in arms against his two sons-in-law : the
prince of Vaudemont commanded the Spaniards in
the Milanese, and was nearly made prisoner by his
own son, who had followed the fortune of th. house
of Austria.

In the year 1718, when the duke of Orleans, re-



The War of 1741. 7

gent of France, carried on a war against his cousin,
Philip V. of Spain, the duke of Liria served against
his father, the duke of Berwick. In the war, the
history of which I now write, the kings of France,
Spain, and Poland, and the elector of Bavaria were
the nearest akin to the queen of Hungary, whom
they attacked ; and upon that very tie of relationship
the last of these princes set up a claim to plunder
her. We have seen, in the course of this war, Fran-
cis, great duke of Tuscany, and now emperor of
Germany, keep an envoy at Paris, whose children
served against him ; and we have seen all the sons
of the Tuscan prime minister in our service. We had
a thousand examples of this kind before our eyes,
and yet they did not surprise us.

All the sovereigns of the different states of this
part of the world are allied either by blood or by
treaty; and yet they scarcely conclude a marriage
or a treaty that is not the cause of some future dis-
agreement.

Commerce, whereby they are necessarily linked,
is almost always the occasion of their dissenting.
The two subjects on which to ground a war are
everywhere else unknown ; nowhere but in Europe
is a wife known to bring to her husband a war for
her dower, by setting up a right to some distant
province. No act of confraternity is known among
princes ; nor a reversion from one family to another
no way related to it; nor yet small fiefs paying
homage at the same time to several great princes,



8 The War of 1 741.

who are disputing about the homage and fief itself
among one another, as happens so often in Germany
and Italy. Hence it is that Asia is almost always in
a pacific state, if we except the invasions of con-
querors, who are in that part of the world yet more
cruel than in Europe, and the unavoidable quarrels,
more especially among the Turks and Persians,
about frontiers.

Those who accurately and nicely examine into
the capital events of this world will easily remark
that, since the year 1600, there have been forty con-
siderable wars in Europe, and but one of any conse-
quence in Great Tartary, China, and the Indies,
countries of immense extent, better peopled, and
much richer. In a word, there has been no war on
account of trade in Asia, Africa, or America, but
has been kindled by the Europeans.

The marriage of Maximilian I., afterwards em-
peror of Germany, with Mary of Burgundy, had
been for three ages the occasion of a perpetual dif-
ference between France and Austria. The American
and Asiatic trade was afterwards fresh ground for
discord in Europe. The system of the balance of
power in Europe, which is at present the cause and
pretext of so many leagues and wars, first made
its appearance during the disputes between Charles
V. and Francis I.

Henry VIII. , king of England, who, seeing him-
self between two potent rivals, labored to prevent
each from acquiring a superiority, took for his



The War of 1741. 9

device an archer, with his bow bent, and this motto :
" Whom I defend shall be my master ; " but if Henry
held the balance, it was with an unsteady hand.

. Henry IV. of France, oppressed by the house of
Austria, was constantly aided by Queen Elizabeth,
and the states of Holland owed their liberty to the
protection of these two princes. So long as these
three powers dreaded the superiority of the house
of Austria, England and Holland continued to be
constant allies of France. If this union was now and
then weakened, it was never totally destroyed, their
real interests being so very apparent.

The Protestant states of Germany were also the
natural friends of France, for ever since the time of
Charles V. they had reason to fear that the house
of Austria might make a patrimony of the empire,
and consequently oppress them. The Swedes were
invited into Germany by them, by France, nay, even
by Rome itself, which stood in awe of the imperial
authority, always disputed, and always prevailing in
Italy. About the middle of the last century, England
and Holland with pleasure beheld the imperial
branch of the house of Austria obliged to give up
Lusacia to the electors of Saxony, the prefecture of
Alsace to France by the Treaty of Miinster, and
Roussillon taken by force of arms from the Spanish
branch of that house by Louis XIII.

Cromwell the usurper did not oppose this alli-
ance ; for he remained firm to the French interest,
though he had murdered the brother-in-law of Louis



IO The War of 1741.

XIII., and the uncle of Louis the Great. Everybody
almost wished France success against the Austrians,
until Louis XIV. became formidable from his con-
quests, which he owed to his having chosen the
greatest generals and most able ministers of his
time, as well as to the weakness of his enemies.

In 1667, he deprived the house of Austria of one-
half of Flanders, and of Franche-Comte the fol-
lowing year. It was now that the Dutch, becoming
of some consequence from their courage in war, and
their industry in trade, no longer dreaded their old
masters, the Austrians, and began to entertain some
fears of their ancient protectors, the French. They
compelled Louis XIV., by dint of their negotiations,
to accede to the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and
boasted of their success.

This was the first occasion of that monarch's sud-
den invasion of Holland in 1672, in which project
he easily induced Charles II., king of England, to
concur; who not only wanted money, but had also
some grounds of complaint against Holland. He
preferred the chastisement of the Dutch to the con-
quest of Flanders, which he might perhaps have
kept, as he had some claims on that territory; but
England and Holland were soon after reunited, and
ever since always opposed the French interest. The
glory and power of Louis XIV. increased, and so
in proportion did the number of his enemies.

The same system of the balance of power so long
opposed against the Austrians was now turned



The War of 1741. il

against the French. Ever since 1689, William III.,
king of England and stadtholder of Holland, had
been the soul of a party which conspired against
France, Spain, Germany, England, Holland, and
Savoy; nay even Pope Innocent XL Louis the
Great supported himself against all these enemies.
He had, for a long time, nearly four hundred thou-
sand men in arms, and upwards of one hundred
ships of the line ; of which, when he came to the
throne, he had only six ; and though his marine
received such a violent shock at La Hogue, in 1792,
and the India company, which had been established
by the celebrated Colbert, was destroyed ; yet he
made a peace at Ryswick, neither shameful nor un-
profitable. The system of general equilibrium, com-
posed of so many particular views, produced this
peace, and engendered a scheme of politics unheard
of before.

The last prince of the Austrian branch, who now
sat on the Spanish throne, had no children, and was
in bad health. The courts of London and The Hague
entered into a compact with Louis XIV., whom
they did not love, whereby, in conjunction with him,
they disposed of the Spanish dominions. These were
shared among several powers, and a part given to
Louis, for fear he should have put himself in a con-
dition to seize the whole. Charles II., king of Spain,
resenting such an insult upon his weakness as that
of dividing his estate even while he lived, named the



12 The War of 1741.

son of the elector of Bavaria as his heir. This child
was a grandson of Philip III.

The choice appeared just and prudent; the house
of Austria might murmur, but had it not in its
power to avenge itself. The dissensions which must
have inevitably followed from the partition, were
now no longer to be feared ; and the equilibrium of
Europe was preserved : but this young prince died
three months after his being declared heir to the
Spanish succession.

A second partition treaty was then set on foot,
whereby the Milanese was given to the house of
Lorraine, and the latter territory ceded to France,
part of which project we have seen carried into exe-
cution.

The king of Spain, feeling himself drawing near
his end, though in the flower of his age, proposed to
leave his crown to the archduke Charles, his wife's
nephew, second son of the emperor Leopold. So
strongly did the system of equilibrium predominate,
that he did not dare to leave his dominions to the
eldest son, being certain that the fear of seeing
Spain, the Indies, the empire, Hungary, Bohemia,
and Lombardy united under one prince would raise
the rest of Europe in arms. He requested the
emperor Leopold to send his second son, Charles, to
Madrid, at the head of ten thousand men ; but this
proceeding neither France, England, Holland, nor
Italy would have allowed, being all for the parti-
tion. It happened, in these affairs of the utmost



The War of 1741. 13

importance to the interest of two great kings, as it
often does on very slight occasions in private life;
they had words, and came to an open rupture. The
German pride could not digest the Spanish haughti-
ness ; the countess of Pelitz, who governed the queen
of Spain, alienated, instead of securing, the affec-
tions of the people, whom she should have attached
to her side; and they were still more disgusted by
the arrogance of the court of Vienna.

The young archduke commonly spoke of the
Spaniards in a very disrespectful manner; and
thence was taught, that princes should be very cau-
tious how they expressed themselves. His speeches
were transmitted to Madrid, not without rancor, by
the bishop of Lerida, ambassador from Spain to the
court of Vienna, who was disgusted with the Ger-
mans. He wrote invectives against the Austrian
councils much more bitter than ever the archduke
had thrown out against the Spaniards. " The dis-
position of Leopold's ministers," says he in one of
his letters, " resembles the horns of the bulls in my
country; they are little, hard, and crooked." This
letter was made public; the bishop was recalled,
and, on his return to Madrid, increased more than
ever the aversion of the Spaniards against the Ger-
mans. Many trifling matters, for such will always
intermingle themselves among the most important
affairs, contributed to bring about the great change
which happened in Europe, and made way for that



14 The War of 1741.

revolution whereby Spain and the Indies was for-
ever lost to the house of Austria.

Cardinal Portocarero, and the rest of the Spanish
grandees, who were most in favor at court, united
to prevent the dismembering of the Spanish mon-
archy, and persuaded Charles II. to prefer a grand-
son of Louis XIV. to a prince very distant from,
and incapable of defending, them. This disposition
was not annulling the solemn renunciation of the
crown of Spain, which had been made by the mother
and wife of Louis XIV., because it had been made
only to prevent the two kingdoms from being united
under their eldest born, who was not now selected.
Thus justice was done to the rights of blood, at the
same time that the Spanish monarchy was preserved
entire.

The king, who was a scrupulous man, consulted
the best divines, and they agreed in opinion with his
council. At length, infirm as he was, he wrote to
Pope Innocent XII., stating the case, and asking his
advice. The pope, who imagined he saw the liberty
of Italy established in proportion as the house of
Austria was weakened, advised him in his answer to
give the preference to the house of France. The
pope's letter was dated July 16, 1700. He wisely
treated the king's case of conscience as a matter of
state, while the king himself, who with good reason
was desirous of having justice on his side, treated
this very important matter of state as a case of con-
science.



The War of 1741. 15

Louis XIV. had notice of this step ; the court of
Versailles had no other share in this memorable
event ; there was not then even a French ambassador
at Madrid ; for Marshal d'Harcourt had been recalled
six months before, his longer continuance there
being disagreeable, because of the partition treaty,
which France seemed ready to support by force of
arms. All Europe was mistaken in supposing this
treaty dictated at the court of Versailles. The expir-
ing monarch had consulted only the interest of his
kingdom and the desires of his subjects. This will,
which caused such an alteration in the affairs of
Europe, was kept so secret that Count Harrach, the
imperial ambassador, still flattered himself that the
archduke was the declared successor, and awaited
quite a while the issue of the council assembled
immediately after the king's death, before he was
undeceived.

The duke d'Abrantes approached him with open
arms; the ambassador no longer doubted of the
archduke's being a king, until he heard the duke
d'Abrantes, as he embraced him, express himself
thus : " I come from taking leave of the house of
Austria."

Thus, after two hundred years spent in war and
negotiations about some frontiers of the Spanish
dominions, France saw herself, by a stroke of a pen,
put into possession of the whole monarchy, without
treaty or cabal, nay, without so much as having
hoped for that succession. It has been in some meas-



1 6 The War of 1741.

ure the custom thus to publish here the plain truth
of a fact hitherto misrepresented by statesmen or
historians, according as prejudices or appearances
misled them. That which has in so many volumes
been set forth of the sums of money lavished by Mar-
shal d'Harcourt, and his bribing the Spanish min-
isters to come at the will, must be ranked among
political lies and popular errors. The minister then
at the head of foreign affairs in France has given an
authentic attestation of this truth under his own
hand; but the king of Spain, in choosing for his
successor the grandson of a king who had been so
long his enemy, had plainly employed his thoughts
on the consequences which the idea of a general
equilibrium must necessarily excite.

The duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., had
been called to the succession of Spain only because
there seemed to be no hope of his ever rising to the
throne of France ; and the same will which, in case
of the failure of princes of the blood of Louis XIV.,
bequeathed the crown to the archduke Charles, after-
ward emperor by the name of Charles VI., expressly
stipulates that the empire and Spain should never
be reunited under the same sovereign.

That branch of the house of Austria which sat on
the imperial throne, seeing itself deprived of the
Spanish succession, except as a substitute, raised
almost all Europe in arms against the house of Bour-
bon. That very Leopold who neither would nor
could send ten thousand men into Spain to secure



The War of 1 741. 17

the throne to his son, the archduke, soon brought
a hundred thousand into the field. The duke of
Savoy, father-in-law of the duke of Burgundy and of
the king of Spain, shortly afterward entered into a
confederacy against his sons-in-law. England and
Holland, which had declared for the archduke, sus-
tained the chief burden of this long war, until at
length that equilibrium which had been a pretext
for so many disputes, became itself the basis of a
peace. The very thing happened which had been
foreseen by Charles II. The archduke, to whom
the Spanish monarchy had been provisionally left,
and for whom a bloody war had been kindled,
became emperor in 1711, by the death of his elder
brother, Joseph. That faction which in England was
called Tory, and which opposed the Whig adminis-
tration, made use of this opportunity to dispose
Queen Anne to lavish no more blood and treasure
of the English in a cause whereby the emperor
Charles VI. must acquire more power than ever had
been vested in the hands of Charles VI., and by a
continuance, in which she also acted in direct oppo-
sition to the views and real interest of England, as
well as the rest of Europe, which had been appre-
hensive of seeing Spain and the empire united under
the same crowned head. But an incident from which
such important consequences could never have been
expected contributed more than anything else to
bring about the great work of peace.

One of the chief causes of the will of Charles II.
Vol. 33 2



1 8 The War of 1741.

had been the haughtiness of a German lady. The
peace of Europe was owing to the insolence with
which an English lady treated Queen Anne. The
duchess of Marlborough put the queen into a violent
passion ; so that she lost all patience, and the Tories
turned the affair to their own advantage. The queen
changed her ministers and her measures. England,
after being so long the bitter enemy of France, was
the first to conclude a peace with her at Utrecht :
and soon afterward that very useful victory obtained
by Marshal Villars, at Denain, in the neighborhood
of Landrecy, determined the states of Holland and
the emperor Charles VI. to make a general peace.

Louis XIV., after being persecuted for ten years
by evil fortune, after having been reduced in 1710 to
such distress that he was forced to abandon the
support of his grandson, and having had the morti-
fication to find himself not attended to, unless he
joined with the allies against his own blood, had
yet at length the satisfaction to see his grandson
firmly settled upon the throne of Spain.

But there was a necessity for dividing this mon-
archy, which had been given to Philip V. only in
hope that it might not be dismembered. By the
treaties of Rastatt and Baden, made in 1714, the
emperor was to keep all the Austrian Netherlands,
with the duchy of Milan and kingdom of Naples,
in spite of that ancient law which provides that this
kingdom shall never be held with the empire. Charles
V. had submitted to this law in receiving the investi-



The War of 1741. 19

ture of Naples from the pope, before he had assumed
the imperial crown. But this powerful vassal of the
pope found not much difficulty in obtaining a release
from his oath; and Charles VI., afterward experi-
enced as much civility from the court of Rome as
Charles V. had done.

Sicily, another branch which had been lopped from
the Spanish monarchy, was then bequeathed to the
duke of Savoy, who had afterward Sardinia in
exchange for it. At length Minorca and Gibraltar,
having been taken by the English, remained to that
nation. By this peace the king of Prussia was put in
possession of the Upper Guelderland. The Dutch
acquired for their barrier Namur, Tournay, Menin,
Furnes, Warneton, Ypres, Dendermonde, etc. The
emperor, besides ceding to them the defence of these
places, paid them annually two million five hundred
thousand livres ; a convention scarcely to be par-
alleled in history, that a sovereign should give up
his strong towns and his money to his allies, instead
of garrisoning the places with his troops.

The elector of Bavaria, father of him who was
afterward emperor under the name of Charles VII.,
and his brother, the elector of Cologne, were rein-
stated in their principalities and rights, which they
had lost by siding with France, and being unfor-
tunate. The emperor Joseph had, of his own author-
ity, and independent of the consent of the three col-
leges, put them under the ban of the empire. Thus
vast advantages were acquired by all the potentates.



20 The War of 1741.

The principal one, and yet it was not sufficiently
respected, was the preservation of mankind. A hun-
dred thousand men at least must have been annually
sacrificed in the course of a war wherein six hundred
thousand men were constantly in arms on both sides
in Italy, Spain, Germany, and Flanders. It is an
undoubted truth that in ten years' time the southern
parts of Europe had lost above one million men in
the flower of their age.

The twenty years which followed the Peace of
Utrecht enabled each nation to repair its losses ; a
happy series of years, the felicity of which met with


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